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peace on earthSuddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:13-14

I heard the bells on Christmas day, Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet, their words repeat, Peace on earth, goodwill to men

I thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along in unbroken song, Peace on earth, goodwill to men

The Christmas season always has a bit of a romantic, nostalgia to it. I love the atmosphere artists and musicians have portrayed of warm cozy fires, family celebrations and kisses under the mistletoe. Traditionally Christmas, followed by New Years, is a time of new beginnings and hope.

And in despair I bowed my head, There is no peace on earth, I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song, Of peace on earth, goodwill to men

Reality hits hard. We’ve lost a sense of innocence and security over the years. That truth has come harshly in the past couple weeks with the tragedy in Paris, San Bernadino and London. School shootings have become so common place that if we aren’t careful, we see them as the norm. Families are in trouble. The economy is in trouble. It seems like everyone either has cancer or knows someone being attacked by this disease. It’s no wonder it’s easy to get discouraged by what we see and hear daily on the news and in our circles.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep, God is not dead, nor doth He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, goodwill to men.

A recent headline in an Los Angeles paper screamed, GOD CAN’T FIX THIS! It’s easy to understand the author’s frustration. The fact of the matter is, God didn’t break it. We did. The Psalmist expresses similar feelings in several places in the Psalms. My favorite is Psalm 13:1-2 where he pleads with a seemingly absent God. “O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?” And we echo the question? How Long?

While we may never be able to understand why God allows tragedies in our lives, I’m reminded of what the Apostle Peter said just after many of Jesus’ followers left him. Jesus asks, “Will you leave too?” Peter’s response is classic. He says “Where else do we go?” In other words, what other choice do we have.

Throughout history man has found new ways to destroy the peace Jesus came to give us. But too often we fail to realize that inner peace is available to us now through faith in Christ. Can God ‘fix this?’ Yes, some day every knee shall bow. Every single knee of every religion, every ethnic group, every denomination, every political party. Every knee will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.

PRAYER: Lord, there are so many times when I get discouraged by what I see around me. Fear and doubt set in assisted by anger. Help me to move on knowing you are with me and will strengthen me no matter how bad the battle becomes. In Jesus name, Amen.


I pray that the Lord, who gives peace, will always bless you with peace. May the Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally.

This is the phrase that came to me as I was pondering what it meant to be truly at peace. We live in a world where peace is merely spoken of as a wish, a dream, a hope we know deep inside of us will probably never come. We have just come out of the Christmas season in which we speak of “Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards Men”. We look forward to a new year in which we always hope for life with a stronger economy, more solid relationships and better health.

True peace, the kind of peace God promises us isn’t dependent on circumstances, nor can it be taken from us by other people. True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. True peace, God’s peace is best exemplified with the Hebrew word SHALOM. SHALOM peace reaches to the very soul. SHALOM peace encompasses the seen and the unseen, the things I can control and the things I can’t.

True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. While True peace is initiated by God, I must make a decision to make that peace a part of my life. The great enemy of our souls wants us to believe two lies. One is that we can’t do anything to change ourselves. The other is that the only way we can get better is to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and try harder. Both lies have partial truths in them. We must make decisions in our lives that will lead to healthier living spiritually, emotionally and physically. One day Jesus met a young man who was unhappy with life. Jesus told him the best way to gain the fulfillment he sought was to give away all he had and follow Christ, Christ alone. The man had a decision to make. He chose to walk away.

True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. The false part of the enemies lies is that the outcome depends on us. The outcome never depends on us. If it does we are destined to failure. The power to change our attitudes, actions and reactions can’t come from us. It must come from the power of Christ in me. The Apostle Paul tells us “Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. (Philippians 4:7) Our minds are guarded from defeat not because of our own power but because of the power of Christ that protects, strengthens and guides us.

True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. The ‘eternal thinker’ realizes that the trouble of this world, no matter how devastating, is temporary. Everything we can see, touch, hold, hear and taste ends at death. But our heart, our soul lives on eternally. The ‘eternal thinker’ spends his/her energy on things that build for eternity. Jesus says, “I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.” (John 16:33)

PRAYER: Father God, as I move into a new year, let me live a life of true peace. True Peace that begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. Amen.


“For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.” (Ephesians 2:14)

This past Advent season we spent out time examining the names given to the baby in the manger by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 9:6). Although I’ve heard this passage many times, and spoken on it several times as well, this year I was given insights never seen before. That’s one of the amazing things about the Bible, for those of us who study it. The most familiar passages can constantly bring new meaning to our lives as we open our minds to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit.

The last Sunday in December we were reminded that Jesus is our Prince of Peace. Peace is something that eludes a vast majority of the world’s population. Some are entangled in conflicts that eventually take their lives either through violence, disease or natural disaster. Others are engaged in conflicts of the soul, struggling with emotional or mental illness, various kinds of addictions or the hidden bruises of abuse.

Jesus IS our Peace. The word peace in Isaiah 9:6, is the Hebrew word SHALOM. SHALOM goes far beyond what most of us think of as peace. SHALOM peace, goes far beyond the superficial peace of prosperity, lack of conflict and good health. SHALOM peace goes directly to the very depths of the soul.

The real beauty of SHALOM peace? It’s unaffected by our circumstances. The day before I wrote this article, a dear friend of mine lost his wife (temporarily) to cancer. One day they will be reunited with their savior. It was amazing to watch her over the years. The disease ravaged her body, but her spirit remained at peace in the arms of her Lord and Savior. Renee was an inspiration to us all.

That brings up another aspect of SHALOM peace. In its essence, SHALOM peace naturally overflows to those around us when practiced gracefully. SHALOM peace isn’t concerned about political correctness, homophobia, intolerance or racism. The goal of SHALOM peace is to bring unity.

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians states, “For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.” (Ephesians 2:14)

The disciple of Jesus Christ knows peace even during those times we are misunderstood, falsely accused, or ‘labeled’ because we know that our validity isn’t dependent on what others think, but on how God views us. ALL people are created in his image. He doesn’t want anyone to perish. That’s why he sent Jesus to be our reconciliation to him, and to have a ministry of reconciliation to others.

PRAYER: Father God, thank you for our precious Prince of Peace who stands by me in the most difficult of situations. Help me to live SHALOM peace in my own life so that it may spread to others. Amen.

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